When Marvel Studios released Black Panther in 2018, they outdid themselves by making it their first film with a black director and majority black cast. Some of the members of the cast trace their roots to Africa and represent a population that, over the years, has been underrepresented in Hollywood. How many Black Panther African actors stars can you identify in the film?
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1. Lupita Nyong’o
Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o isn’t a stranger in Hollywood. She made her debut on the big screen in 2013 with the widely popular film 12 Years a Slave. Since then, she’s enjoyed a lot of success and is one of the black panther actors.
She plays the role of Nakia, T’Challa’s love interest and a member of the Dora Milaje. These elite bodyguards could be the wife of the King of Wakanda. In the sequel of the film, she retains her role. The film features their struggles to move on from the death of Chadwick Boseman (King T’Challa).
“Working on this film ended up helping me through my grief, and for that, I’m very grateful,” Lupita told today.com.
2. Florence Kasumba
Florence is a Ugandan-born German actress known for her roles in films like Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and The Falcon. In Black Panther, she plays the role of Ayo, who heads the security of King T’Challa.
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3. Daniel Kaluuya
Kaluuya was born in London to parents of Ugandan origin. He’s one of the Black Panthers actors playing the role of W’Kabi. He’s King T’Challa’s childhood friend but betrays him when he recognizes Erik Kilmonger as the ruler of Wakanda. He was also the head of security for the Wakanda king. However, his role wasn’t reprised. He’d already committed to another project.
4. Danai Gurira
She features in Black Panther as Okoye, the leader of the special forces Dora Milaje. She’s the right-hand woman for the King of Wakanda and ensures the throne’s stability. She told NPR that she never realized how big the film was until its trailer came out.
“When we were announced as the additional cast at Comic-Con, that was amazing, but then the real moment hit when that trailer came out. The response we got was something we never imagined.”
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5. John Kani
The South African is one of the black panther actors. He was the king of Wakanda before T’Challa and is supposed to nominate a successor. He played the role alongside his biological son Atandawa Kani. Aside from his role in Black Panther, he’s featured in some high-profile films like:
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6. Connie Chiume
Seasoned South African actress Connie Chiume played the role of a mining tribe elder in Black Panther. In an interview with a South African podcaster, the actress revealed that she didn’t know Black Panther until after she landed the role.
“The film I was auditioning for was called Motherland, that’s what I know I auditioned for. I went for another job, and then I got a call that I’ve been cast for Black Panther, and I’m gonna travel for it.”
For her role in the film, she won the Hollywood African Prestigious Award.
“It means a lot to me as an actress to see my work taken seriously globally. This is the second award I am getting from overseas.”
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7. Atandwa Kani
Atandawa Kani is the son of the legendary actor John Kani. He’s one of the actors in black panther and plays the role of T’Chaka’s son Young T’Chaka. That said, he doesn’t feature in the sequel. Other films that Atandwa appears in include:
It’s great to see African actors making a breakthrough in Hollywood in a major film. This is a testament that the continent has a lot of talent. What’s needed is for them to have the necessary resources.
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